Where is the black dad?
Can we please get our families back together as they are meant to be, asks Masanda Peter.
Lately I have noticed that most black women are missing a man next to them. Yes, a man in the form of a partner, boyfriend, father and husband is missing. Looking at my family, relatives and other people close to me - and most importantly our children - it seems like the man is missing as part of our lives, especially when it comes to raising a child. There are far too many single parents out there.

In the malls I will often see a white family that is complete: i.e. mother, father and kids. But seeing that kind of a set up with black families is quite rare. During sport events, they would be a few black families with both parents and the poor mom would be there by herself, giving her child support.  I would often wonder where the dad is. I think it’s about time we go and find them wherever they are, for the benefit of our kids.

I would really like to find out where our men are; perhaps we can go and fetch them. In previous years we could easily attribute their disappearance to their days of being in exile while fighting for our country’s freedom, or working in cities away from their families and this is why you would never see them around.

Drawing dad into the picture

A few weeks back my son brought back a picture from crèche and in it were a male and a female character obviously representing mom and dad. I overheard him saying that ‘it’s my mom and dad.’ to his friends and when I asked him who was in his drawing he said to me ‘it’s you and me, Mommy’. That brought tears to my eyes, for a 5-year-old to make up a story to his friends and come back and tell me something different really broke my heart. I wondered whether he was protecting me or perhaps he did not want to be the odd one out without a father.

In church, women are often alone with their kids, at collection of school reports you will find black women on their own. I am not saying you should get married to us (even though it’s the good way of doing things) but how about playing an active role in your child’s life?

A majority of my friends are single parents and sadly if the man is part of your life then you are considered “lucky”. The fact that we become so impressed when a guy is involved in his child’s life shows that something is wrong. I am deliberately addressing black men because this is the situation that I have noticed. Please men, your children need you.

Do you agree with Masanda? Are complete families hard to find?

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